All over the world, parents decide to divorce and this leaves children hurt and confused. Because of their innocence and immaturity, children are unable to process stressful events as adults are. Their reactions and behavior can range from delicate to quick-tempered. The children may lose contact with one parent or they might decide to makes some bad decisions in their life due to the feelings of neglect. Some of the bad choices could be violence and struggling in academics.
There are impacts on teens that could be short term but there are also long term effects too, because children look up to their parents as role models. Family clearly impacts teenagers, especially a divorce. Faber and Wittenborn (2010) report that on average, children in divorced families and stepfamilies, as compared to those in non-divorced families, are more likely to exhibit behavioral and emotional problems, lower social competence and self-esteem, less socially responsible behavior, and poorer academic achievement.
Thave a friend name John, he is eighteen years old. When he was fourteen, his mom, and her husband moved to Cleveland, Ohio from Miami. John did not like Cleveland because of the cold weather. John wanted to stay in Miami were the weather is nice and sunny and so that he could be close to his grandmother. One of the most visible results of stress in a divorce is that of relationships. Obviously, there is demise in the relationship between the parents, but the relationships directly with the children are now critical and must be recognized and supported.
Additional apparent stresses upon such relationships are economic, concerns of loyalty, parental conflict, and the previous level of nurturance prior to divorce. Children often feel they are caught in the middle of their parent’s conflict (Gilman, Schneider & Shulak, 2005). Children living with parents who seek to contain and/or resolve their conflicts, will fare much better over the course of time than children who live in the midst of parental conflict( Gilman, Schneider & Shulak, 2005).
At the same time, children who continue a warm and loving relationship with parents and feel that their parents understand their experience will also fare better than children who have a less nurturing relationship with their parents (Gilman, Schneider & Shulak, 2005). Teenagers tend to find ways to let out their feelings and try to escape their problems, and this usually leads them to making life changing decisions that will hurt them more than they know. Alcohol actually is a depressant because it slows down the function of the central nervous system and it cause people to lose coordination and alter their thinking process.
Teenagers with divorced parents are 50% more likely to drink alcohol and do drugs than those with married parents. This really could become a problem because due to the effects of alcohol the teens can hurt themselves and even other people if they are driving drunk. These teenagers will also think that alcohol is always the answer to stress that they are feeling from the divorce. Teenagers decide to use alcohol whenever things are not going right or if there a problem, this really affect their body health and the problem is not diminished but just forgotten for a couple of hours.
Alcohol or drug use is increased in teenagers who have divorced parents than who have married parents, but divorce also affects the crime rates of teens immensely. Divorce creates a lot of stress on the whole family including youth, but some adolescents tend to make poor chooses to regain some attention instead of them always feeling neglected. Because feelings of shame, decrease in self-esteem, self-blame, anxiety and fear of abandonment may be prevalent for the child of divorce, children from divorced homes often perform academically worse than peers (Crow, Ward-Lonergan, 2003).
An incapability and/or struggle with concentrating due to anxiety and fear are not uncommon. Health issues that have resulted from anxiety can also cause a disruption in sleep and ability to focus on school work. Fortunately, with time and therapeutic interventions, most children are able to learn to deal with the sorrow and stress of divorce. I also found that divorce has long lasting psychological effect on many children, one that in fact, may turn out to be permanent. Children of divorce have vivid memories about their parent’s separation.
The details are etched permanently in their minds, more than any other experiences in their lives. I also identified the “sleeper effect” as another long term implication of divorce. It is a delayed reaction to an event that happened many years earlier (Crow, WardLonergan, 2003). It occurs when children are about to make decisions that have long term implications for their lives (Crow, Ward-Lonergan, 2003). Most often children of divorce are able to adjust and move through life following their parent’s divorce.
But, studies show that adult children of divorce tend to earn less income, obtain less education, have more troubled marriages, weaker ties with parents, and display more psychological distress symptoms (Thomas & Woodside, 2011). Due to the different studies that have been followed out and the research that I have done, I expect to find many changes in children both short and long term due to the divorce of their parents. I expect that these long term effects will affect these children when it comes to them making choices about their future, especially when a significant other is involved.